Read at London Black History Month Celebrations, October 2005
An unusual dawn of a routine Monday,
Ordained life for a working week just kick started the run,
Life’s sojourn almost as straight as the railways
– “No change”, you say.
In your creed,
Working life is preset; Patterns defaulted;
A hastened shower, Cursory nibble at headline news,
As you prepare,
Force and resistance in full display at the children’s habitat;
You surge ahead with ignorant shield;
Through the gates for the daily chores,
As you pass through the graffiti attired walls
– “Certainly no change”, you concur in your heart.
And again, only as if to witness
The weaving of usual faces on the Tube,
Hurriedly burying into the tanned pages of financial press,
Or folding unto the free garnished Metro prints ;
– “Nothing changed”, you mutter.
Then in utter silence –
Your glance captures that familiar face,
Only this time, more vivid are its lines of age,
Criss-crossing the forehead,
Age, parcelled in change,
– Strikes a sudden ripple in your heart.
At the long pause of your breath,
The air nimble and tender,
Sets its sweet reminders into your senses!
Instead of being observed, you become an observer,
– And you observe.
As if the whole curtain is dropped,
You witness change, suddenly changes everywhere.
Looking is not seeking, you realise
– So you seek.
As you seek, you see the life of change,
Nay, Life as change!
Space as its container,
Time as the controller, of its contents and the context;
Through language of change,
Time rewrites the song of life
– Rhymes in its chimes!
To Change is to Live – ponders your feeble heart;
Changeless becomes lifeless- at least for the ordinary;
Changeless may be timeless to the extrasensory;
For you, the seeker of good life,
Good changes are therefore necessary goals,
With its two compelling counters,
– Changes in ourselves!
– Changes in the world!
Do our minds fashion the world ?
Or the world is changing our hold?
Technology alters sociology,
Citizens are now Netizens,
Information induce new formations,
Borders are mere contours of decorations;
From birth-rights to death-rites
Marriages to Child birth,
Social or religious laws –
Everything recurs under review;
At the sword of Time
Modernity takes frequent death
– As new trends replace old intent!
Yet, contradictions contrast hope!
Across the world, – even still
As one Aid is sought as interim cure,
Another AIDS wages its evil tour!
Hate hasn’t changed to Love,
Coping yet to equal hoping,
Openness bares more evil truth,
Exposing human continents
Suffering a silent death
– of inability, inadequacy and indignity!
Making poverty a history
Needs not just an economic mystery;
But a change of heart in all our part;
Symphony of human conscience,
Sensitivity and respect to nature’s equity,
Share its dividend to meet all our need,
But not to a single mind, full of greed!
Black history has a wide geography;
Woven within the White economy,
Like the colours of the garden,
As garnish in the salad,
Variety is the essence of our life!
World need not be a melting pot
To fuse its varied lot!
Into the diversity of human colour, creed and culture
Nature moulds the fusion with love,
-her soft nurse!
On our part,
Values need to be re-valued;
Dogmas should yield to dharmas;
In the womb of mother earth,
We all share yet an unborn birth;
Only with change of hearts,
Freedom and free-will prevail,
– True human race be born!
Change of hearts will change the world!
To the leaders “Readiness is all” that matter!
To reflect, refresh and release our minds,
A Hitler or a Gandhi,
An Einstein or a Bill Gates
Is all that required
– To set few minds at zest,
– Or rest or in the conquering quest!
Stress is an acquired agony!
Residual pain from our resistance to change!
Let go! Be free!
– Be at least a better stranger!
– Show your care, little stronger!
Look beyond what you hold,
Hear beyond what is told,
In saying “You are changing”
– You not just an object of change
– But really an agent of change!
Your life thus
An aesthetic assimilation of on-going changes!
“ Are you living” is therefore,
– “Are you changing?“.